City of Tyler reviews ordinance over human signs

KETK
News

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 6:12pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 6:50pm

It's been a law for years, but it has not been strictly enforced in the city of Tyler.

We're talking about those folks who dress up as characters to promote their business or someone else's business.

The code states signs and banners are prohibited in the right of way, the area between the sidewalk and the street.

But, the city wanted to clarify the ordinance.

"Any signs that are in the right of way can be distracting. part of the reason municipalities regulate signs are for two primary purposes one for safety traffic and concerns as well as community esthetics. We prohibit signs in the right of way to decrease any distractions and obstructions for the motoring public," said Tyler city planner Heather Nick.

But, this ordinance got a little hazy.

Small businesses who use human signs to attract customers believed the city was going to ban this.

The Planning and Zoning commission reviewed the ordinance and agreed the language was not very clear.

Nick says the language now states if a business is going to use a human sign they must be on the businesses' property.

"It may just be recently that we are seeing this type of activity where folks hold signs and wave and maybe it is a little unclear if that needs to be prohibited activity so that is why we received direction just to monitor it and see how it's working," said Nick.

Businesses like Liberty Tax Service tell KETK 60% of their new customers come in because of the wavers.

Co-owner Maureen Parkhill says they can't afford to have advertisements in the media, so they rely heavily on their dancing human signs.

"What we told the committee was that number one if they are going to inhibit are ability to have people in costumes holding the signs they are going to inhibit are ability to make a living and the city needs to be more user friendly to the community and small business owners. " said Parkhill.

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